Black Agenda Report for 18 May 2017

16 May 2017 — Black Agenda Report

Oh No No, You’re Political, We Can’t Do That!

a Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Some time last year, during the presidential campaign the BDS Movement held a major conference in Atlanta. I asked a friend who planned on attending anyway to approach the organizers and ask if the Georgia Green Party could buy a table at the event so we could hand out information about our party, which is the only US political party we know of that endorses the Movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction the apartheid state of Israel.

Jeff Sessions, Eric Holder and Mass Black Incarceration — Revisited and Revised

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“What Sessions is actually defending are the racist policies championed by Eric Holder, himself, when he was U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia in the mid-Nineties.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the deep-fried racist from Alabama, would like to turn the clock back to pre-Emancipation, but will settle for a return to the good old days of Bill Clinton, the mega-incarcerating con man from Hope, Arkansas. It is important to maintain an historical perspective on the actual policies that are being pushed by Republican and Democratic political actors, given the corporate media’s practice of revising history on a daily basis. Sessions’ new instructions demand that his U.S. attorneys “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense,” rather than adjust criminal charges and sentencing recommendations based on the defendants individual history and circumstances. Sessions insists that federal prosecutors push all the legal buttons necessary to activate mandatory minimum sentences, with no judicial discretion.

Freedom Rider: No Tears for the FBI

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Pity the poor FBI agents. Reportedly, the morale of the secret police has suffered since their former director, James Comey, was cashiered by President Trump. If the FBI has, indeed, been rendered ineffectual, that’s a blessing. “We can only hope that their condition is so serious that they no longer want to target individuals and groups for surveillance, arrest and imprisonment.”

Karen Spellman and the SNCC Legacy Project –Black Power Chronicle

by BAR Editor and Columnist, Dr. Marsha Adebayo

When did the “Civil Rights Movement” morph into the “Black Power Era” — or is that a false dichotomy. The best testimony on that question comes from those who participated in the process – people like Karen Spellman, an early activist with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and currently co-director of the Black Power Chronicles.

Peace Activists Confront Amy Goodman on Biased Syria Coverage

by Ann Garrison

Amy Goodman, the producer and host of Democracy Now!, has long angered much of her progressive audience with her biased coverage of the proxy U.S. war against Syria. A Veterans for Peace chapter wants to give Goodman a piece of their minds. “The warmongers in Washington seem determined to use the story of Assad bombing his own people with chemical weapons. The MSM plays that story big time, and Amy Goodman echoes it on DN.”

Trump Picks the Al Capone of Vote-Rigging to Investigate Federal Voter Fraud

by Greg Palast

The 2016 election was stolen — not by some Russian-Wikileaks plot, but the old-fashioned, made-in-the-racist-USA way, by massive suppression and theft of the Black vote. Donald Trump has chosen the architect of the “Crosscheck” scheme to head a commission to investigate election fraud. “As Crosscheck spreads, it will undoubtedly poison the count in the fight for Congress in 2018.”

Malcolm X in the 21st Century

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

Had he not been assassinated, Malcolm X might still be among us, speaking Truth to Power and marking his 92nd birthday. If you want to emulate Malcolm, you might start by carrying around his recommended list of exploratory equipment: “a notebook, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a book of synonyms and antonyms, an etymology text, a library card, and an open, willing mind.”

A Certain Amount of Madness: From Endless Protests to Revolution

by Henry Makori

Often too reform-oriented, current activism is incapable of mid-wifing radical transformation. Today’s activism is only mildly disruptive, is fragmented and addresses symptoms, not systems. Its aims are short-term and it doesn’t engage the masses. No coherent and convincing alternative visions are proffered. Instead, activists are busy petitioning the same oppressive powers they should be fighting. Africa needs a revolution.

 Black Agenda Radio for Week of May 15, 2017

Submitted by Nellie Bailey a… on Tue, 05/16/2017 – 11:25

UNAC and Black Alliance for Peace Blast U.S. Subversion of Venezuela

The newly founded Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) and the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) issued a joint statement denouncing U.S. “destabilization” and “attempts to cause regime change” in Venezuela. “We share the objective to revive the anti-war movement — the anti-imperialist movement in the U.S.,” said BAP organizer Ajamu Baraka, the veteran human rights activist and 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate. “We are, of course, committed to peace, but we understand that there can be no peace without justice, and that means people have to be prepared for struggle,” said Baraka.

Bizarro World: Faux “Leftists” Shill for the FBI

Purported “progressives,” apparently driven mad by Donald Trump, demonstrated this month in support of former FBI director James Comey. “It was disheartening to see left forces so anxious to combat Trump, they were actually supporting Comey,” said UNAC activist Sara Flounders. This strange strain of “leftists” seem to have forgotten the oppressive history and practice of U.S. spy outfits. “We have to be clear,” said Flounders. “All of these agencies are about absolute repression, subversion and assassination.”

U.S. Prisons: Geriatric Injustice

One out of every 7 of the nation’s prison inmates is serving a life sentence, according to a report by The Sentencing Project. For Blacks, the proportion of lifers is in 1 in 5. Despite a growing consensus for prison reform, “We see life sentences continue to accumulate,” said senior research analyst, Ashley Nellis. Most people “age out of bad behavior” in their 20s and 30s, “so incarcerating them for decades past that point serves no public safety benefit,” she said.

Mumia on Neoliberal Barbarism

Noting that Pennsylvania has locked up more juveniles for life than any other state, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal excoriated Bill Clinton for pushing through his draconian anti-crime bill of 1994. “Children were cast into the hells of adult prison while the newly rich neoliberal class drank champagne and enjoyed the good life,” said Abu Jamal.

Don’t You Dare Call Malcolm X a “Civil Rights” Leader

What Malcolm X “was saying 50 years ago is just as relevant today as it was then,” said Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid, an advisory board member of New York City’s Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Educational and Memorial Center, where the martyred leader’s 92nd birthday will be celebrated on May 19th. A “homogenized version” of his life and work depicts Malcolm X as a “civil rights leader of the 1960s,” said Imam Rashid, but Malcolm “used to make it clear that he was not a civil rights leader, but rather, a human rights leader.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.